This year we knew we wanted to have all the Christmas gifts bought by the end of October. What with a new baby coming in November we didn’t want to think about it when things got busy. I know everyone does gifts differently, which is completely okay. I have had some questions about our gift buying habits, so I thought I would share the answers in this post.
First rule at our house – if we can’t pay cash, we don’t buy it. This includes Christmas gifts. Our finances determine the Christmas budget each fall. We do our best to save and keep from wasting our money. We also have 3 birthdays between October and Christmas to buy for, all of which is done at this time. This year, as an example, our Christmas budget was $50.00 per person. It has been less in the past. The budget for my husband and myself is the same.
Second rule at our house – we buy toys or crafty things. We don’t buy books at Christmas, or homeschool supplies, unless that is what a child is asking for. The only other time we buy toys for our children generally is their birthday, the rest of the year they have to shell out their own money for toys.
Third rule at our house – we are not opposed to yard sale toys, clearance, or other sources. This year several toys our children will receive between birthdays and Christmas were bought at a Church yard sale I attended (total spent: $5.00, total toys would cost new: $100.00). This year a dear friend called me up in early October to ask if I wanted to look through some toys she had cleared from her children’s rooms. I found some treasures there as well that will show up in Christmas gifts.
This year my husband and I did our Christmas shopping in one day, as a date. We made a list of the things we hoped to find for each child (they had given us ideas), taking what we already had stashed away into account. Then we got on the computer. We went to Amazon.com and bought more than half of our Christmas list. Many things were on sale, so we were not going to beat the price at a local store. We were able to use the Amazon giftcards I had earned with Swagbucks as well, saving on our budget even more. The things we chose not to buy on Amazon were items we were pretty sure we would get cheaper elsewhere.
That evening my mother came and watched the children (thank you mom!). My husband and I had our much smaller list in hand. First stop – WalMart. We bought a couple toys from the list. Then we went over one street to Toys R Us and bought the rest. We grabbed a milkshake on the way home and it was a fun date night – something we don’t do nearly often enough.
When all was said and done we stayed within our budget (with room to spare) and each child will get around 5 gifts to open. One thing that really made a difference was having found a few things through the yard sale, from our friend, and getting some deals on Amazon. Now all that is left to do is get things wrapped. That will have to wait, however, because I can’t sit on the floor and bend over enough to wrap much of anything with this baby belly in the way…LOL!
Do you have any Christmas gift buying rules? Have you finished your shopping, not even started, or somewhere in between? What is your budget for each child? Leave a comment because enquiring minds want to know how it works in other families!